The Pula Holdings name tag will soon be replaced by Chalk Gardens, an office complex launched Thursday by Maison Properties. The change is as a result of ownership transfer from the previous owner, Pula Holdings Group, to Chalk Gardens. Although the main objective of the launch was to view the rebranded office complex, the launch was also designed to provide insight into the current property market.
One of the subjects that garnered heightened interest among participants was on sustainable green building. According to Maison Properties Director and property consultant, Nametso Maikano, the concept is yet to gain popularity in the local property market. Sustainable green building is based on three R’s namely reduce, reuse and recycle, in that particular order. The challenge that seems to emerge with this type of building is its slow adoption, which does not seem to faze Maikano given that it is a costly venture in comparison to the traditional form of building. She, however, emphasised that the high cost implication is justified by the reduced expenditure on the use of a building in the long run and thus advised prospective property owners to make the investment as it will prove beneficial as a counter measure to the current water and electricity crisis.
The other topic which was raised was the proliferation of fly by night estate agencies whose illegitimate operations result in distortion of the market. Maikano gave the example of a property deal in which a client seeks to make P100 000 and engages a fly by night agent who then brokers a deal for P150 000 in cash to a willing buyer. Although this might appear as a successful deal, he laments that the 50 percent commission that the fly by night agent made is where the problem lies. “It is 10 times above what the industry stipulates as an industry fee. The client is happy, but the market on the other hand starts to go haywire due to the distortion,” bemoaned Maikano. She added that fly by nights are increasingly taking advantage when such and this has become a major cause for concern.
Another issue that she highlighted which people do not seem to pay particular attention to is location. “If you have property in Mogoditshane, in a predominantly low cost built up area, you do not want to find yourself building a supersized house that is best suited for a suburbia like the Golf Estate as the sales in that area will have a large impact on the value of the property. Property cannot stand alone without its neighbouring environment hence the coined phrase location, location, location,” she explained. She therefore emphasised that in line with valuation guidelines property owners should avoid under-investing and over-investing in their properties.